‘I feel like we take that for granted, how healthy we are’: Greek Week blood drives hope to combat shortage

Alexandria Anderson, News Reporter | March 27, 2022

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Red Cross has faced its worst blood shortage in over a decade, with a 10% decline in overall donation since March 2020. 

This is in part attributed to the cancellations of student-driven donation events at colleges and high schools, a 62% drop in these blood drives since the pandemic. This drop in donation events has limited student donation opportunities, with students making up roughly 25% of donors in 2019 to just 10% during the pandemic.

WKU is working to combat this shortage through its annual four days of Greek Week blood drives, the totality of the event making it the third-largest in the country for the Red Cross.

There are two separate blood drive events organized under this same Greek Week blood drive. The first is on Monday, March 28 and is referred to as the “Tug” blood drive, and the larger portion of the event is from April 18-20 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the actual Greek Week.

Assistant Director of Student Activities and Greek Life Andrew Rash helps to organize and lead these blood drives, which have become a staple in WKU’s history. 

“This blood drive has been around for decades, I was a college student in the early-mid 2000s, and the blood drive had been around decades before that,” Rash said. “Throughout its history, at least in my 15-20 years with it and I’m sure well before that, it’s been, again, one of the biggest. It’s always been attached to Greek week, but anyone can do it. It doesn’t just have to be Greeks, we have lots of faculty and staff that do it, lots of non-Greeks that do it, they just go in and donate blood.”

Related: WKU Greek week blood drive: 3rd largest in the country